EP Review: Serena Clara – The Spiral

Serena Clara is a London-based avant-pop artist who has just released her new EP The Spiral. A four-track reflection on her lived experiences, Clara brings elements of folk, pop and, most of all, relatability to her music.

By Graeme Smith

Feature Photo by Robbie Ewing

The EP opens with the distorted electronic notes of title track The Spiral. Serena’s isolated vocals strike you from the off, delivering poetic and image-laden lyrics. It’s a track that ebbs and flows, with rises and falls that reflect the uneven feel that comes with poor mental health. Serena’s sound invites comparisons to pioneers like Kate Bush, Björk, and Caroline Polachek, but no comparison is exact. She’s really doing her own thing in this EP.

Things move seamlessly into track two Small Black Hole, a moody, melancholic piece brought to life through storytelling lyrics and atmospheric vocal effects. Listen with headphones to fully appreciate its dramatic climaxes. They’ll give you goose bumps.

Track three is previously-released single Motherlove, a track already creating buzz in the blogosphere. Indie Top 39 called Serena a “one to watch” on the evidence of it, and I have to agree. Sonically, it’s textured and interesting, but it’s not all flash. The substance of the lyrics are really its best feature.

The EP is rounded off by Bow. After the trauma-processing of the first three tracks, it strike a hopeful and uplifting note. Its core message is that there is something good in everything, and struggles are how we learn. Its bright, chanting chorus is completely infectious, perfectly pitched with layers of electronica.

It’s so rare to find an artist who is as unique as Serena. She’s performing with her own voice while also creating something that is such a joy to listen to. I say it a lot, but it goes double when speaking about Serena, she’s got a bright future ahead of her.

You can listen to the whole of The Spiral EP below.